Originally from France, Chevre is an artisanal cheese made from goat’s milk and is commonly just referred to as ‘Goat Cheese.’ The word chevre itself means goat and the full name Fromage de chevre over the years has been simplified to just Chevre to describe goat cheese. Chevre is just one of the many different types of cheese that is made from goat’s milk. Other cheeses include Valencay cheese, Bucheron, Chabichou, Picodon, and Majorero to name a few.
Chevre tends to have a very soft, white consistency, although the longer it ages the more the color will deepen. This cheese has a very unique, earthy flavor and can take on a variety of different styles. It is commonly tart and tangy, but can come in all shapes, sizes and ages which affects the overall flavor. Changing simple things like the moisture content in Chevre can either make it mild or tangy, crumbly or creamy. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the preference of how you like your goat cheese. Anywhere from Australia to Greece to Malta, different areas around the world all have different ways of making Chevre and preferences when it comes to their goat cheese.
Chevre has a lower fat content than cow cheeses and which contributes to the tart flavor that goat cheese tends to have. It has been made for thousands of years and is one of the earliest known dairy products out there. Although Chevre softens when heated up, it won’t melt like other forms of cheeses do. Chevre is high in vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, copper, potassium. It is also full of healthy fats and gives you 5 grams of protein per 1-ounce serving.
For people that are sensitive to cow’s milk, Chevre cheese may be a great option for you as people seem to have more of a tolerance for Chevre compared to other dairy cheese because of Chèvre’s lower lactose levels. Chevre also has about half the fat, cholesterol and calories of cow’s cheeses like cream cheese. Replacing Chevre for cream cheese will not only give you a similar texture, but an abundance of tangy, delicious extra flavor.
Chevre is absolutely the perfect cheese to add to a cheeseboard, sprinkle on top of a flatbread, salads, or incorporate in pasta dishes. It will completely take your dish up to the next level with the abundance of flavor Chevre has.
Since Chevre is a fresh cheese, it doesn’t require much aging at all and tends to keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks if tightly sealed.
Aging: 2-3 days
Skill Level: Intermediate
- 1-gallon fresh goat’s milk
- 1/4 tsp mesophilic starter
- 2 drops of Rennet diluted in 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp non-iodized canning salt
Heat the Milk & Add Cultures
- Heat your milk up. When it reaches 86F you can start to add your culture in and stir until combined.
- You can do this by placing the milk in a pot or sink of very warm water. If you do this step on the stove, be sure to slowly heat the milk and stir to avoid burning.
- Allow mixture to sit for 45 minutes.
Add the Rennet
- Now it’s time to add the diluted Rennet. You should put the 2 drops of Rennet into ¼ cups of water to dilute the mixture.
- Once the Rennet is added, allow this mixture to now sit for another 12-18 hours with the temperature no lower than 68F
Draining the Curd
- The curd will not and should not be extremely firm. Instead, it will resemble the consistency of a thick yogurt.
- Carefully, use your ladle to move the curd into a colander that’s lined with a fine cheesecloth. You can use two cheesecloths layered if required.
- Assemble the corners of the cheesecloth and tie it into a draining bag.
- Drain your mixture for overnight or for at least 10-12 hours
- Salt & Flavor the Cheese
- When the cheese has reached the desired results, transfer it into a bowl and salt your cheese.
- You can then add any herbs or other seasonings to your cheese as well like mixed herbs, dill, or pepper.
- Since Chevre is almost like a blank slate of cheese, adding some additional flavors really compliments it nicely.
For a more in-depth look at How to Make Soft Goat’s Milk Cheese: Chèvre watch this video
Video Credit to Food Farmer Earth